Tuesday, May 10, 2011
By popular demand, it's the women's turn.
When it comes to dressing up, it's fair to say that it takes less for a man to look shabbily dressed than a woman. That's because for women, there are more accessories that come with the clothes they wear.
Dressing to impress:
1. Shoes and bags. Closed or open-toes? This is a no brainer. Corporate attire mandates that all shoes worn to the office MUST be closed-toes. Shoes where the toes are protruding are only for informal events. Your pedicure must not stand out more than your shoes. It's also a good rule of thumb that you keep your toes clean and free of dead nails when you plan to wear open-toed shoes.
Regardless of sex, all shoes must be cleaned regularly. Wearing shoes that are dirty on top of it being open-toed makes you look like you used it as your running gear as well. The difference in men's and women's shoes though are the heels.
High-heeled or regular heels? Again, a no brainer. Even if you're as shrimpy in size as Charice is no excuse for you to wear stilettos as high as the Petronas Towers. Unless you plan to hide those shoes under a gown or very long pants, fine. But if you're wearing a skirt, the highest heel height should be no more than 2 1/2 inches. Anything higher than that would make you look like a prostitute parading the streets of Ermita.
Unlike men's shoes, women's shoes are much cheaper and should not be limited to black and white shades. While there are several colors one can choose from, make sure that you only get the darker shade of the various colors. Example - get a maroon shade if you're going for red or dark green if you want a pair of green shoes. Don't get the color of shoes that will make you stand out like a pair of reflectors on the street!
Rubber shoes and slippers are NEVER EVER in! You don't want to look like a dyke on the prowl or some beggar on the streets of Manila. Flip flops, whether it is Havaianas or Banana Peel or Sandals ni Aling Pacing - TSINELAS pa din yan!
Then there's the matching game. Understandably, women will need to match shoe color with their bags. Mixing and matching the colors works well especially if you simply complement hues. You do not need to wear brown shoes and carry a brown bag! A nice yellow bag with a few tones of brown and beige would go well with those beautiful brown shoes.
Which goes to the final point on women who can afford only ONE Louis Vuitton bag. It's horrible that you're able to lug around a Vuitton monogram classic canvas over a blue top and black skirt! Girl, you're forgetting that it's not the bag that people are looking at. I have a cardinal rule regarding this. The bag is supposed to accent your look. Whether it's a Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Prada, Raoul, Chanel, or Burberry, the bag is meant to augment your look. It plays a supporting role in the over-all attire you're wearing.
By the way, if you can't afford to get the real thing when it comes to designer labeled bags, don't get a fake. It's so third world. Buy what you can only afford. It's disgusting to see someone trying hard to be who she isn't.
2. Hair. Fuzzy or rebonded. Long or short. When it comes to hairstyles, it becomes complicated. But it's a good thing to remember that the short hair look fits a slim person while those on the more overweight size do well with longer hair. You have to hand it to the bulimic girl on the corner where she can get away with practically any hair style she wishes. Perfect examples are the beauty queens and the ramp models. It's the fat people (sorry about that) that have a hard time matching hair styles with body sizes. If the fatties wear their hair too short, they look like light bulbs dressed for the Christmas tree. If the fatties wear their hair too long and are not able to keep it well groomed, they look like a troll doll. If your hair looks like it needs a good hot oil because it seems hard to manage, save a little extra for that rebonded look. While it may cost you a little, you'll thank me for saving you the stare from people who're wondering if you got hit by thunder bolt and lightning on a warm sunny day.
Braiding your hair is NOT a style. Neither is putting gazillion pony tails. It is never, ever in vogue! Unless you want want to look like you're from the ghetto or from some tribal descent, get rid of it.
Then there are the women who make their head sparkle with glitters. And I mean glitter blings. The hair clips are supposed to provide accent to your hair. Putting 100 hair clips on your head is disgusting! And no Hello Kitty hair clips puhleez!! You don't have to shout to the world that at the age of 45, you're still in fantasizing mode about being a Harajuku lover! And take off those sunglasses on your head! God!!! I saw this radio commentator on TV wearing a sunglass on her head inside the studio. The sunglass is not a headband stupid!
Whether you have long or short hair, rebonded or frizzy look, with a clip or without one, in a headband or in a bandana, the bottom line is to carry a comb or brush and fix that hair when it's out of place. Good grooming and first impressions are from the top.
3. CLOTHING. Plain or printed? Monochromatic or technicolor? Unlike men, womens clothing are more flexible. They can get away with most mix and match items. For more formal occasions or corporate attires, it's always nice to wear a blazer on top of the uniform. Hence, the blouse should have a contrasting color to the blazer. Pants or skirt will go well with a blazer. The blouse or shirts should be short sleeves. No sleeves are a no-no, unless you have arms the size of Kim Chiu's, you should be wearing a shirt with short sleeves. No puff sleeves as well, unless you want to look like a blooming daffodil in your workplace. And the blouse should be either plain or pin-striped. Avoid the floral and printed ones in the work place.
To add elegance to your daily attire, it would be wise to invest in some bling. Not the Bulgari or Tiffany brand. There is a wide array of faux jewelry that will accent any plain dress. And please, no oversized costume jewelry! You don't want to make people think that you're bringing your kid's toys to your workplace. Remember to keep it simple. Over-dressing is only for the prostitutes!
Try to avoid gong with the trend! If leopard prints are in, don't over do it by looking like the real thing from the zoo. There are trends that fit your age. The younger generation will probably fit the shorter skirt and more clothes hugging look. However, it should be a constant reminder that the style is complementary to your body size.
As I already mentioned, mixing and matching colors with a consistent hue is the key to making people wonder at how many clothes you have in the closet! Try to keep a whole set of black to grey, a set of brown to beige, a set of shades of blue, green, red, yellow and lavander. That makes seven colors. Build up on this set one at a time and you'll be surprised at how many clothes you can mix and match with just having 2-3 of these shades at a time!
When you're asked to come in a formal attire, it means that it's not a short dress! Whether it is a Yves St Laurent or Giorgio Armani outfit, a short dress is NEVER a formal attire. For the Filipino woman, if you're asked to come in formal clothes, do not come in Filipiniana clothing unless it's a Filipino themed event. You will look like Melchora Aquino (Tandang Sora) in the event.
Keep in mind that a great dress is one wherein you look great in a formal attire and when you remove that blazer of yours to dress down to an informal look, you still look fabulous!
4. Underwear. Ever heard of the "quadruple breast syndrome?" It's when women try to fit into clothes that are one or two sizes down! Like a bra one size too small make your breasts look like they want to explode. Remember though that most Filipinos are small breasted and wearing a cup one size down may make you look like you're putting on a very tight band-aid over those raisins.
Since we're talking about bras, there are general rules regarding wearing the right bra style and color. Never wear black or colored bras on white dress. It shows off laciviously. Unless you're a stripper in a go-go bar, you shouldn't make this contrast shriek in disgust! Your children will disown you.
I did not realize that there are 31 kinds of bra designs. But there are five that you should remember: full support bra, push up bra, strapless bra, t-shirt bra and finally the sport bra.
And you will need one of each at the very least. Bras provide support to the breast and keep them from looking obscene when wearing clothes. Never ever go commando in both the workplace and during informal events. Going commando is reserved for the strip clubs or the bedroom. The sport bra is recommended for women who work out as it provides support for the breast and prevents discomfort and embarrassment during exercise. The strapless bra are used when you intend to wear clothes that reveal the shoulders. Never wear a bra that shows off the straps when your dress is off the shoulder. Ewwww..... The t-shirt bra is designed without raised seams. These have padded cups so the nipple is concealed and provides a smooth line under the t-shirt, no matter how tight the shirt is. Finally, a push up bra is designed to lift the breasts and place them together to make the cleavage more distinct. If you have really small breasts, you may want to go with a push up bra as they can augment what is lacking.
Then there's VPL (visible panty lines). Women wear hip hugging dresses and pants. Also, the clothing materials used by women are finer than men. Which makes another obvious thing happen unintentionally. Those panty lines become obvious. You can practically tell that the girl wobbling her butt in front of you is in a thong bikini. While we're on the subject of VPLs, a lot of younger women love to wear very low rise pants making it such a turn off that when they stoop to pick up things from the floor, the panties pop out like a sore thumb! Rule of thumb - when you need to wear hip hugging clothes, wear panties that have a boxer fit. And please, no thongs, unless you intend to pole dance in your workplace.
5. Perfumery. Fragrance is both a turn on and a turn off. If your perfumery smells like Glade room and air freshener please get a life! There are women that bring the whole bottle of Victoria's Secret body spritz to the work place and in between break time spritz herself to the annoyance of my olfactory senses! And puhleez, those Victoria's Secret spritzes are obnoxious and so third world. Seriously? That's my "pasalubong" for my maids when I come from the US.
6. Make-up and Nail polish. Okay so the cosmetic line is one of the best sellers in the world and women are by far more vain than men. Given that fact, rule #1 - do not match your make-up with your clothes, unless you want to look like a wall paper! Geez! I see some people walk around dressed to match their make-up. What are you - a clown? Duh?!?! Rule #2 - don't wear heavy make up unless your job happens to be the oldest job in the world - prostitution. and finally Rule #3, puhleez get a good opinion for the make-up that suits your skin tone and color. Unless of course you want to look like a jigsaw puzzle where all that make-up splashing all over your face has non-complementary hues.
And then there's the nail...you've seen it and some girls and women like it. Well FYI, whether you're 15 or 51, putting caricatures on your nails is not an in thing. It's not even in vogue and never will be. Unless you want to look like a pick-up girl, a sophisticated look is always a shade and not embossed or in technicolor!
7. Jeans and shorts. Women carry jeans better than men. That's because of the shape of their body as well as the shape of their butt. If you have a big butt or a large pelvis, please avoid wearing jeans. They make you look like a large condom walking around that tight fitting pair. Have mercy on your jeans. And the biggest faux pax among women into jeans is that some of them wear jeans from head to foot. I mean, really! Where'd you park your horse dearie?
Teenage girls love to wear short shorts. Like they want to show off those shapely legs. Never ever wear shorts if you have a lot of imperfections on your skin. And this goes true for sleeveless blouses and mid-riffs. Some women can get away with it. Most, on the other hand, with cellulites splattered all over or freckles splayed on the exposed skin - are such a turn off that any guy would even have an erection die down at the sight.
Remember, dressing up and accessorizing is a skill that needs to be learned. Dress simply. You don't need to be trendy. Casual means carefree and not slutty. Formal means dress to impress and not look like you're the debutante in every party!
A beautiful woman will stand out in the crowd as long as you carry yourself in an elegant manner. Poise, beauty and simplicity are the hallmarks of loveliness.